Review Summary: Palpitation achieves catchy indie-pop greatness and leaves you wondering, “why are they still invisible?”
OK, I admit it: I’m kind of a music hipster. I really like finding these bands nobody else knows about. But ninety percent of the time, these little bands have a good, even great single, and then nothing else. Well-intended filler. Creative, meandering drivel. It’s depressing.
But that’s not Palpitation.
The band’s a Swedish girl duo, who make cool, guitar indie pop with some buddies and have some small record deal. They’re yet to break 4,000 fans on Facebook. And yet their eponymous debut is a rare piece of art, practically a set of ten singles. When I go to listen to a Palpitation song, I get caught up remembering just how good each song is. Every track really is that memorable, boasting not only nice melodic hooks, but effortless, creative transitions that prevent the album from getting bogged down.
But Palpitation is not another Beach Fossils or Real Estate. Their vocalist has this earthy, unique fusion of a growl and a plea, granting a unique texture and emotional weight to each song, and the other vocalists with more conventional styles complement hers throughout the set. The use of a drum machine throughout also heralds a sort of simple xx feel to spacey atmospheric reverb of the alternately soft and fuzzy guitars. Then there’s the trumpet that pops up throughout the album, adding variety to the catchy riffs and frills that fill the album.
So even if there’s nothing truly new here, no crazy new instruments being used, no music theory defining chord structures our genre-defining twist, Palpitation adds enough in all the right places to make for a pleasant, consistent listen. It’s the sort of record where you can go through a second listen and subconsciously sing through the choruses, having subconsciously memorized them the first time around. I could go on about how my heart goes up and down with the “oh-whoah-oh’s” on In Five Years or how the trumpet line in What If makes me yearn for my days in band class. But it’s not often you get to delve into an obscurity this consistently brilliant, and perhaps you should find your own way into its depths.